Are You Sleeping More?

You may not realize it, but you may be getting more sleep these days – about 18 minutes more per weeknight than in 2003. This statistic comes from just over 181,000 people who responded to a Census Bureau questionnaire about their daily activities. The data showed that Americans added about 1.4 minutes of sleep per weeknight each year between 2003 and 2016. Surprisingly, while people also slept more on weekends, this change amounted to only 50 extra seconds, adding up to about 11 minutes per year. The survey found that the increased sleeping time stemmed from going to bed sooner and waking up later. On average that meant bedtime was 66 seconds earlier each year and occurred because people watched less television and read less before going to bed. For each of the 13 years, the number of people who reported that they watched television shows or movies before going to bed on weeknights dropped by 0.22 percent. However, the gains in sleep time weren’t universally shared – they didn’t apply to the unemployed.

Mathias Basner et al, “Sleep Duration in the United States 2003-2016:First Signs of Success in the Fight Against Sleep Deficiency?” Sleep, January 8, 2018,

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